MP moves Parliament for featuring great women in currency notes

VCK MP D Ravikumar feels that it is high time that Indian women are included in the face of Indian rupee notes and recently introduced an adjournment motion to bring to the notice of the Centre the need for introducing prominent women in Indian rupee notes.
VCK MP D Ravikumar
VCK MP D Ravikumar

CHENNAI: The modern day Indian currency note has been in circulation for 160 years, but the currency, apart from Queen Victoria, never had any Indian women on it. VCK MP D Ravikumar feels that it is high time that Indian women are included in the face of Indian rupee notes and recently introduced an adjournment motion to bring to the notice of the Centre the need for introducing prominent women in Indian rupee notes.

“Indian currency has long been male dominated with only the names or images of kings engraved on them. However, currently Indian women have grown well in the society and our President and Finance Minister are both women. So, it is the right time for the government to add women in the currency notes,” Ravikumar told DT Next.

With the passage of the Indian Paper Currency Act of 1861, the first rupee note came into existence in 1862 and the first note carried the picture of Queen Victoria, who was then ruling England. The tradition continued till 1936 when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed the image to King George VI. However, in 1950 the image of King George VI was replaced by the Lion Capital at Sarnath.

The present day rupee notes prominently carry the image of Mahatma Gandhi and the series was first introduced in 1969 to commemorate the birth centenary of Gandhi and in 1996 the image of Gandhi was made permanent in Indian rupee notes.

However, this is not the first time that the politicians raised the issue of including women in the Indian currency. When the ruling government tried to include women in rupee notes in 2010 the RBI did not agree to it and replied that “no other personality could better represent the ethos of India better than Mahatma Gandhi.”

The demand has once again been renewed by Ravikumar, who urged the Centre to include the image of Savithribai Phule, India’s first female teacher, who started a school for girls as early as 1848.

“Adding the image of women will not change their social status overnight but it will be a symbolic representation of the top positions that women hold in the society. Adding their image in the rupee note will be a symbolic representation of women’s financial growth and independence,” noted the MP.

There are few other countries in the world where women find a prominent place in their currency bills.

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